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Slovenian EU Presidency reaches agreement on temporary agency workers and working time


At their meeting yesterday in Luxembourg, EU Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs reached agreement on two Directives of the utmost importance for European workers since they govern the aspects of working time and the rights of temporary agency workers.


The current EPSCO Council President, Slovenian Minister for Labour, Family and Social Affairs Marjeta Cotman, expressed great satisfaction at the success in finding solution thatgave workers all-round security.


"As for the rights of workers employed by agencies, we have succeeded in finding a key balance between the employment security of such workers and labour market flexibility. The Working Time Directive brings flexible working time arrangements on the one hand and ensures the protection of workers’ rights on the other. It is of particular importance that the application of flexibility is subject to prior consultations with social partners; in respect of certain rights, the prior consent of the worker is required," commented Ms Cotman.


The Directive on Temporary Agency Workers ensures that workers employed through agencies enjoy rights equal to those of other employees from the first day of their employment; exemptions are permitted only if the social partners come to an agreement nationally.


The Working Time Directive limits the excessive prolongation of working hours while allowing working hours to be adjusted to the requirements of work, in agreement with social partners. In this project, the Slovenian Presidency was very attentive to the reconciliation of family and professional life.


The Council of Ministers also adopted conclusions focusing on administrative cooperation in relation to posted workers and on anticipating and matching labour needs, with special emphasis on the young.


At the proposal of the Slovenian Presidency, an important step forward was taken towards the adoption of the legislative package aimed at simplifying and modernising procedures for efficient use of various social security systems for migrant workers.


In the context of monitoring the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Council adopted three conclusions on equality between women and men and also on women’s participation in political decision-making.


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